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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Mar 30, 2011

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Canon US Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 7,915,030, "Method and molecular diagnostic device for detection, analysis, and identification of genomic DNA."

Hiroshi Inoue, Ivor Knight, Gregory Dale, and Rita Colwell are named as inventors on the patent.

At least one embodiment of the invention is directed to a molecular diagnostic device that comprises a cartridge configured to eject samples comprising genomic material into a microfluidic chip that comprises an amplification area, a detection area, and a matrix-analysis area, the patent's abstract states.


Philipps-Universität Marburg has been awarded US Patent No. 7,915,016, "cDNA production from cells after laser microdissection."

Birgit Liss is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

The invention provides a new procedure for synthesizing cDNA from single cells after microdissection. According to the patent, the method is cost-efficient and can be carried out quickly with only few steps, even by less-skilled laboratory employees. The time-consuming and risky step of RNA isolation is omitted during cDNA synthesis from single cells by performing lysis and cDNA synthesis in the same reaction tube and in one buffer solution, which provides reliable and contamination-free results. The buffer is composed of NP40, carrier-RNA and Super RNAsin, as well as dNTPs and cDNA synthesis primers.


Johns Hopkins University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,915,015, "Digital amplification."

Bert Vogelstein and Kenneth Kinzler are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method by which the exponential, analog nature of PCR is transformed into a linear, digital signal suitable for the identification of pre-defined mutations expected to be present in a minor fraction of a cell population. Single molecules can be isolated by dilution and individually amplified; and each product is then separately analyzed for the presence of pre-defined mutations. The process provides a reliable and quantitative measure of the proportion of variant sequences within a DNA sample, the abstract states.


Brandeis University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,915,014, "Specialized oligonucleotides and their use in nucleic acid amplification and detection."

Lawrence Wangh is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Describes labeled probes and unlabeled oligonucleotides that are useful in nucleic acid amplification reactions. These probes and oligonucleotides are modified to alter their sensitivity to primer-independent 5' exonuclease activity of a thermostable DNA polymerase relative to its corresponding unmodified counterpart. The patent also describes non-symmetric PCR amplification and detection methods and kits employing these labeled probes and unlabeled oligonucleotides.


Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,915,013, "Method and apparatus for amplifying nucleic acids."

Yoon-kyoung Cho, Joon-ho Kim, Kak Namkoong, Geun-bae Lim, and Jun-hong Min are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes an apparatus for amplifying nucleic acids. The apparatus includes: a substrate; a reaction vessel formed inside of the substrate; at least one first inlet channel formed inside the substrate, connected to an end of the reaction vessel, and allowing introduction of a reactant aqueous solution containing reactants for nucleic acid amplification into the reaction vessel; a second similar inlet channel allowing introduction of a fluid that is phase-separated from the reactant aqueous solution and does not participate in the amplification reaction in the reaction vessel; and a heating unit installed on the substrate in such a way to thermally contact with the substrate and heat the substrate.


City of Hope has been awarded US Patent No. 7,914,995, "Reaction mixture for pyrophosphorolysis-activated polymerization."

Qiang Liu and Steve Sommer are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a novel method of pyrophosphorolysis-activated polymerization, or PAP. In PAP, pyrophosphorolysis and polymerization by DNA polymerase are coupled serially for each amplification by using an activatable oligonucleotide P* that has a non-extendible 3'-deoxynucleotide at its 3' terminus. PAP can be applied for exponential amplification or for linear amplification; and can be applied to amplification of a rare allele in admixture with one or more wild-type alleles by using an activatable oligonucleotide P* that is an exact match at its 3' end for the rare allele but has a mismatch at or near its 3' terminus for the wild-type allele. PAP is inhibited by a mismatch in the 3' specific sequence as far as 16 nucleotides away from the 3' terminus. The method can greatly increase the specificity of detection of an extremely rare mutant allele in the presence of the wild-type allele. Specificity results from both pyrophosphorolysis and polymerization since significant nonspecific amplification requires the combination of mismatch pyrophosphorolysis and misincorporation by the DNA polymerase, an extremely rare event. Using genetically engineered DNA polymerases greatly improves the efficiency of PAP.


Amplion has been awarded US Patent No. 7,914,986, "Detection of amplicon contamination during PCR exhibiting two different annealing temperatures."

Miles Nunn is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Discloses a method to perform PCR reactions with one set of primers comprising sequence elements that are complementary to the target sequence and comprising sequence elements that serve as tagging sequences. By conducting amplification reactions at different temperatures, the presence of contamination arising from amplification products of previous reactions can be determined, improving reliability of the reaction and reducing the need for control reactions and reproduction of reactions.


Trovagene has been awarded US Patent No. 7,914,982, "Methods for detecting pathogen-specific nucleic acids in urine."

Hovsep Melkonyan, Angela Cannas, Louis David Tomei, and Samuil Umansky are named as inventors on the patent.

The invention is based upon the discovery that small nucleic acids from non-viral pathogens are able to cross the kidney and are present in the urine of a subject when the subject is infected with the non-viral pathogen. These transrenal DNAs are especially prevalent at smaller sizes under about 300 bp. The invention provides compositions and methods for diagnosing infection of a subject with non-viral pathogens by detecting transrenal nucleic acids from those pathogens in the urine of the subject.

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